State of Rhode Island Annual Listing of Obligated Projects
The federal metropolitan transportation planning statute (23 CFR 450.334) states that “in metropolitan planning areas, on an annual basis, no later than 90 calendar days following the end of the program year, the State, public transportation operator(s), and the MPO shall cooperatively develop a listing of projects for which funds under 23 U.S.C or 49 U.S.C Chapter 53 were obligated in the preceding program year.”
The Federal Highway Administration defines obligation as the federal government’s legal commitment (promise) to pay or reimburse the State, or other entities, for the federal share of a project’s eligible costs. Thus, an obligated project is one that has been approved by the federal government for reimbursement, though not necessarily reimbursed yet. The obligated project costs reflected in the Obligation Report often do not equal final project costs, rather it is the amount of federal (not including state) funds that were obligated during this past federal fiscal year.
The Obligation Report documents federal funds obligated by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA). A number of projects listed in the Obligation Report reference multi-year projects that originate from prior year STIPs. Funds obligated from these prior year STIPs are for projects that still have open contracts that have not been closed out.